Once a condition has a label, doctors know to look out for it - or rather, it's on their checklist of possible diagnoses. To diagnose an individual as having an entirely individual condition is problematic, not least because medicine isn't about crafting entirely individual remedies. Medicine uses mass production. Attaching a label also enables communication - I can tell you I have a cold, and be understood. If I go into a list of symptoms, and let's assume I'm both accurate and comprehensive and start from the beginning, it might take a little longer for you to work out that I just have a cold.
A label is a generalisation. It's useful - if I have a cold, I can be given a cold remedy. It's easier to dramatise Storm Doris than to wake people up to the low-pressure area swirling towards us across the Atlantic. We now have JAMs - who are Just About Managing - alongside the hard-working families, benefits scroungers and others in the political lexicon. Politically useful labels, I guess. But a label is also problematic. If I come into your surgery and launch into a lengthy account of a different set of symptoms, there's a chance that (for example) you'll think "Aha! Athero-[you can't expect me to spell it twice in one blog post]" before I've got to the end of the account. And miss the final symptom that takes us off towards something else.
I haven't read enough of Marilee Strong's book to say anything about it (that quote came from the beginning of Chapter Three), but I do think sometimes about the labels that get attached to people. They do get attached, and it can be quite hard to be seen through them. It's a recurring theme of mine, I think. People get labelled. They're individuals, but the label stands in front of them and insists on giving you [a simplified version of] their identity. I wonder how much it matters to individuals not to be fitted into the crowd like that.